Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom – Reaching into the Archives

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom


I revisted the archives from September 1, 2010 for this post. It was titled “Cindy’s Take on Avoiding Recluttering.” This time I have published it with gift buying in mind. As appropriate, insert “the gift recipient” in place of “I”

It’s bound to happen sometime; you’re going to have to break down and buy something. Before you do, consider these factors:

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Do I want it?
  3. Did I come into the store looking for this item, or did it just catch my eye?
  4. Would I be criticized if my spouse or family members knew that I had purchased this?
  5. Can I afford it? If I cannot pay for it now, should I buy it?
  6. Can I wait a week and see if I still believe I need to buy this?
  7. I am buying it “just to try it”? If I am, is there some other way that I could try it first?
  8. Can I borrow it or rent it instead?
  9. Can I buy it used?
  10. Can I share the purchase of this item with someone else? (Lawn tools, exercise equipment, a bicycle, or magazine subscriptions all fall into this category.)
  11. Have I researched this purchase? Is this item durable and does it do the things I want?
  12. Will this item be easy use, maintain, and keep organized? Does this item perform more than one function?
  13. Do I have something at home that will perform the same function? Will it replace one or more other things that I already have? Am I willing to move those other things along? Do I truly need to replace those things?
  14. Do I have a place to store this item? Do I know that it fits?
  15. Is it in a color or style that I will continue to enjoy? Does it fit with my décor or the other things in my wardrobe?
  16. What is it made of? Where was it made? Are the components healthy for me and the environment? Is it labeled for recycling? Is it made of recycled parts?
  17. Can I sell it when I no longer want it?

Today’s Mini Mission

Roundup all pens and pencils that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

Today’s Declutter Item

One has to wonder why we still have a snowboard even though we have been back in Australia for over five years now and the person this was once the right size for is now no doubt too big for it.


Eco Tip for the Day

Consider donating excess pens and pencils in your home to a local school or take them to be used in your workplace. This will reduce the need for these places to purchase new ones while decluttering excess from your home. They are likely to dry up and become useless before they are ever used otherwise. I wonder how many pens succumb to this fate every year. Also try to remember not to accidentally acquire more. I almost walked off with a pen from the post office last week after address a parcel I was sending. I can assure you I didn’t need any more pens. In fact I will follow my own advice here and declutter yet more from my house. Perhaps I will take them to the post office. If you set aside a place in your house to store such items you won’t fall into the trap of buying more that you don’t need.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ You Can’t Push a String Cindy's Weekly Wisdom You can't push a string... Different people have different styles, styles of gift giving being no exception. In my family, specific (extremely specific) gift […]
  • Day 86 Recycle & Reshuffle While looking in the linen closet to determine whether there were any old towels I could throw away my attention was drawn to some rolls of gift wrap and a box of gift bags. Which got me […]
  • Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Don’t Shop for Christmas Yet I was making my semi-monthly trip through Costco and what did I spy everywhere I looked? Christmas items! Christmas foods, Christmas wrap, Christmas decorations, Christmas gifts, even […]


  1. Cindy, this is a good reminder. Thanks for bringing it back to us again.

  2. I love the list!

  3. Excellent list!

  4. A family member sent us a link to an online wishlist he has set up.
    It has close to 750 items on the wishlist.
    I about fell over.

    • Jane – holy moley! a) why would anyone want 750 things? and b) I’ve never seen a bridal registry as high as that.

      We’ve been a bit gobsmacked lately as my older daughter, who is a “I know what I want and I’m prepared to wait until I get the exact item with no compromise” type of person, issued us all with her wishlist neatly typed with exact make and model or model and size as the case may be, jpegs, the best place to buy it from, the website addresses – oh and all listed in cheapest to darest order. The grandparents seem happy with the idea, but Adrian and I are still shaking our heads and rolling our eyes at each other over it.

      • I like that she knows what she wants and doesn’t compromise. There is a better chance that she will use the things that way. And she has taken all the guess work out of choosing a gift for her what more could you want. So long of course that she isn’t expecting all that is on the list. She sound like a very practical person. Well done I say.

      • I know that feeling, and I might just be that type of person. I asked my parents for exactly one thing this year, and nothing else. I certainly do have a list of things that I would like, but I’d rather ask for the one thing I most want. If I had multiple people buying me things (like a wedding registry) I would likely have a similar wishlist. There is merit to both sides I suppose, but I would much rather my parents spend $100 on a gift I know I want, than give vague ideas of items I would like and have them spend $200 on them (I love nail polish and body sprays and pillows, but I don’t need $200 worth of them). I do like that she has them organized by cost (and I hope there are some low cost options).

      • This list linked to different websites & had very specific items down to the model # or exact item # as well.
        Lot of the items were multiples of the same thing, but in different colors or sizes. Many of the items were over-the-top like a commercial-grade 8-burner stove as well as mundane things like a very specific style/brand of drinking straws.
        It’s all quite shocking & really makes you look a little differently at someone after reading a list like that.

    • How is that possible???

      • I have no idea. The only way I can think of it is if they are registering for individual items or something (like a fine china set, where you buy each piece individually) or have a penchant for something small and numerous (I could probably find 750 bottles of nail polish or nail art decorations that I would love 😛 ). Overall though, the number seems insane, unless they have that many guests (I suppose if you have a 300+ person wedding, you’re insane for other reasons, but 750 gift suggestions is less crazy).

    • Wow, that’s inbelievable. Just think of the time he/she must have spent “window-shopping”, pondering and choosing things and links to put on that list.
      On the other hand, I wish I would have informed my far-off family that they could give me some theatre voucher for my hometown. I didn’t think they would send me anything but a card and maybe money, but I didn’t think they’d purchase a gift. Well, obviously they did, I just accidentally opened it (it was from an online shop and not specifically wrapped). It’s not bad, as in it’s connected to something I like (tea), but actually I already had all I needed for making and enjoying tea and had my resources to learn more about it, so this present is just “nice” – however I saw that they spent way more than 50 euros for it and in my world that is just too much money for a “nice” present, it could have bought me a wonderful experience. (or just some very much loved, very extravagant tea 😉 ) Oh well, I’ll just make sure to hint about opera, theatre, zoo and cinema vouchers to everyone any time possible from now on… and enjoy the tea things as good as I can. 🙂

  5. Moni – I confess I’m a girls after your daughter’s heart – espeically true when I didn’t have the funds to buy everything I need, as I do now – but I only gave my list to those who asked for it. Maybe that’s where she jumped the gun. (I love that she found the best deals and organized the list from cheapest to highest.)

    • Cindy – I do admit I admire her philosophy in principle, and we were quite amused by her organisation skills – she even offered to save Adrian a trip to town, just hand over the credit card and she’d do the purchasing and even gift wrap. Oh and she’d do whatever other gift shopping he wanted done too, if he didn’t know what he wanted to get everyone, just leave it to her.

      On the other hand our other two don’t have a clue what they want, it seems to go from one extreme to the other in our household.

      • I say again, good for her Moni. Liam sent a wish email from the US asking his dad to get him tickets to a concert that just went on sale. That’s his Christmas taken care of. Yay!

  6. On the weekend I was given a lovely gift basket hamper. On the heels of a recent article about the hundreds of tonnes of gift wrap and packaging that gets dumped each year and in line with an experiment that you can get rid of literally anything on freecycle, I moved all the goodies into our pantry and I advertised the basket with its straw, cellophane and bow still in tact. It was snatched up.

    • Well done Moni.

    • Oh, Moni, great idea!
      It would have never occured to me to offer a gift basket including the wrapping/decoration (well, maybe because I don’t really get gift baskets … but I’ve seen many given, so they definitely are around). But it sounds like a very smart move especially during “wrapping season”. I did go through my ribbons and bows lately, as the box was overflowing anyway, and corralled some in a see through bag and put them in a “free” box from where they were snatched up (just like everything else I put there – but I made an extra effort to freecycle stuff before christmas during the last few weeks because I hope it might prevent one or the other gift or decoration bought by someone.)

    • What a simple yet effective idea!

  7. Great list Cindy. Sounds like all the things that run through my head any time I consider a purchase. Most of the time one of the questions puts me off and I go home happily empty handed.

  8. Love this list! I have to say that I have been asking myself many of these questions when I am considering a new purchase. More often than not, I have talked myself out of purchasing an item. If I do purchase something, whenever it is feasible, I do the one in, one out rule.